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AIR NEW ZEALAND to Cease London Services

The Kiwi national carrier has made a strategic decision to redeploy aircraft capacity on faster-growing markets. The upshot is that, from October 2020, the airline’s Los Angeles-London (NZ1/2) service will cease to operate.

“Today Kiwis have more than twice the number of ways to fly to London than a decade ago and preferences have changed. Less than seven percent of all airline travellers between Auckland and London chose to fly via Los Angeles last year.”

Jeff McDowall, Air New Zealand acting chief executive officer.

“At the same time, the Atlantic has become one of the most hotly contested routes in the world and Air New Zealand lacks the home market advantages and scale of the North American and European airlines we’re up against,” he added.

The news comes at the same time as the airline’s announcement of proposed year-round, non-stop 787-9 Dreamliner services between Auckland and New York also due to commence in October 2020.

The airline’s Auckland to Los Angeles services—up to 12 per week—will continue to operate.

From October 2020, Air New Zealand customers will be able to travel year-round between Auckland and London with partner airlines via 12 gateways in Asia and the Americas, including New York.

Air New Zealand’s Business Premier cabin.

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AIR NEW ZEALAND taking off for New York

Air New Zealand has announced that from October 2020 the airline will operate a year-round, non-stop thrice-weekly 787-9 Dreamliner service between Auckland and New York (Newark Liberty International Airport – EWR).

“The new service will provide Australian travellers with a great option to New York through Auckland where, in transit, they will remain in the same terminal. Not only that, but eligible passengers will be able to access Air New Zealand’s fabulous flagship lounge in Auckland,” says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

The inaugural flight will depart from Auckland on 29 October 2020, becoming the first ever non-stop air service between Australasia and New York.

The route is subject to final regulatory approvals and crewing agreements, and flight-time is expected to be 15 hours 40 minutes northbound, and 17 hours 40 minutes southbound.

“We know New York is a popular destination for Australians and we’re looking forward to offering a better way to fly from next October,” says Air New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Officer Jeff McDowall.

“Relaxing in Air New Zealand’s lounge in Auckland beats a US transit hands down. Then there’s our great long-haul service, which includes New Zealand wine and cuisine, lie flat beds in Business Premier, spacious Premium Economy seats and the innovative Economy Skycouch that’s perfect for families.”

Air New Zealand’s Economy Sky Couch.

Air New Zealand will operate its 787-9 ‘Code 2’ Dreamliner to New York. This aircraft has a 275-seat configuration with a higher proportion of Business Premier and Premium Economy seating.

The airline’s new Economy Stretch legroom product, and its innovative Economy Skycouch experience will be available on the Auckland-New York route.

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EMPIRE STATE BUILDING Unveils New 102nd-Floor Observatory

Floor-to-Ceiling Windows and a Glass Elevator 380 metres above New York City.

The Empire State Building has launched the third phase of its top-to-bottom re-imagined Observatory Experience with its newly 102nd floor Observatory.

The 102nd floor features floor-to-ceiling glass windows where visitors can step right to the edge of the world’s most famous building.

Visitors experience their first ‘wow’ moment when they enter an all glass elevator on the 86th floor and ascend 16-stories through a newly-renovated glass shaft to the 102nd floor. On that journey they experience a never-before-seen look at the inside of the tower’s mast and a glimpse of its world-famous tower lights.

The Observatory itself is an enclosed, climate-controlled, all-weather observation deck with 360-degree views of the city and beyond through 24 crystal-clear, eight-foot-tall windows.

“The 102nd floor Observatory is the crown jewel of the Empire State Building. We’ve removed all the obstructions and obstacles, giving Guests access to a view that is centrally-located and unrivaled in New York City,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust.

This third phase follows the successful openings of the Observatory entrance at 20 West 34th Street and the immersive second-floor galleries.

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WE KNOW: New York City

David Thompson, Manager – Sales & Client Experience at The Travel Authority Corporate in Sydney knows the Big Apple inside and out.

New York City has always been his favourite city, and he had the very great fortune to live there for two years, not so long ago. He visited again earlier this year.

New York moments.

His biggest tip for visitors—particularly first-timers?

“Divide and conquer,” says David.

“Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs are ENORMOUS, so you need to have a plan. On my recent trip, I chose to stay in three separate hotels so I could explore the areas around the hotels without spending half of my time in cab, Ubers and the Subway,” advises David.

Brooklyn Bridge; The Chrysler Building; David’s favourite spot in New York—the rooftop at The Met.

Here’s how his most recent trip played out.

LOWER EAST SIDE

I stayed at the fab Hotel on Rivington, located right in the middle of my favourite area in New York. This hotel features floor to ceiling windows that give breathtaking views of the area.

The East Village, Soho, West Village and Tribeca are all walking distance. Some of the best food and bars in the city can be found here. Try Clinton St Baking Co. for all-day brunch, Sel Rrose for oysters and Champagne, or Death & Co. for award-winning cocktails.

Oysters and cocktails at Sel Rrose.

A must-do is 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Located right on the spot that World Trade Centre building once stood, it is deeply moving and fascinating. Pre-book as the lines can be enormous.

BROOKLYN

Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. There are loads of new restaurants, bars and boutiques, with more opening every day.

I stayed at the Tillary Hotel which is located within an easy walk of Brooklyn downtown with its amazing factory outlets, and the Brooklyn Centre for concerts and basketball.

The Tillary Hotel, Brooklyn.

The impressive Brooklyn Museum is a must-do, too—the building alone is worth the walk. The Tillary hotel is also a short walk to Dumbo (Down under the Manhattan Bridge), which is a refurbished and hugely popular area that runs from the Manhattan bridge to the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Be sure to take a ferry (every 10 mins) from Brooklyn Bridge Pier to Williamsburg.

Williamsburg is THE place to go in New York. Full of on-trend fashion stores, very cool bars and restaurants and fantastic people watching. Go to the William Vale hotel rooftop for some of the best views of New York you have ever seen. Head to Brooklyn Bowls for food, drinks, live acts and even a game of bowls—very Williamsburg.

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN / TIMES SQUARE

Try to avoid the chaos of staying right in the middle Times Square. Look to stay a few blocks away, in any direction, and things calm right down.

I stayed at the fabulous Intercontinental Barclay—a very short walk from Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central Station and Times Square. This 1926 grand dame has been completely refurbished with modern twists and all the mod cons and exceptional service you would expect from a 5-star New York hotel.

Intercontinental Barclay

From here check out MoMA for one of the best collections of Modern Art in the world. Then head up to the ‘Top of the Rock’ which, as the name suggests, is at the top of Rockefeller Plaza.

Jump in a cab to WholeFoods at Columbus Circle grab some picnic supplies and head across the street to Central Park—the huge green space in the middle of Manhattan. Find somewhere nice to sit and watch the world go by.

Walk across to the Metropolitan Museum (The Met)—the world-famous Museum that holds countless priceless works of art and artefacts from all over the globe. My favourite spot in the whole of New York City is the rooftop on top of the museum.

This incredible space has jaw-dropping views across Central Park, and on to the ever-growing Manhattan skyline and beyond. You can buy a drink and sit and soak up the sun or check out the artworks that change regularly on the rooftop.


David’s room at Hotel on Rivington; elegant interiors at The Times Square EDITION Hotel; and Intercontinental Barclay.

We think David has the Big Apple licked.

Are you ready to divide and conquer on your next visit?

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QANTAS Direct New York Test Flights

As part of Qantas’ revolutionary ‘Project Sunrise’ ultra long-haul flights development program, the airline’s first official test flight on its proposed non-stop Sydney to New York takes flight on 18 October.

No airline has ever had the capabilities to operated a non-stop Sydney to New York flight. But on the back of Qantas’ successful—and popular—non stop services between Perth and London, this route is next on the airline’s list of goals.

Non-stop flights from New York and London to Sydney will take around 19 hours each, subject to wind and weather conditions.

The primary purpose of the research flight that will operate with just 40 people aboard including crew, is to collect data about in-flight passenger and crew health and well-being on ultra-long-haul journeys.

The on-board research is being designed in partnership with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre and Monash University in conjunction with CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.

People in the cabin – mostly Qantas employees – will be fitted with wearable technology devices and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the flights. Scientists and medical experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and in-flight entertainment to assess impact on health, well-being and body clock.

“Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“For customers, the key will be minimising jet lag and creating an environment where they are looking forward to a restful, enjoyable flight. For crew, it’s about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximise rest during their down time on these flights,” he added.

Findings on crew well-being data will be shared with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to help inform regulatory requirements associated with ultra-long haul flights.

We wish Qantas, the test crew and passengers all the best on this historic flight, and we look forward to seeing the results.

In other news, Qantas’ newest 787 Dreamliner has rolled out of the paint shop at Boeing’s factory in Washington State today, wearing a special Centenary livery to celebrate the flying kangaroo’s 100th year in the skies.

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QANTAS Testing Non-Stop Flights to New York & London

Qantas has announced three ultra-long-haul research flights to collect data about passenger and crew health and wellbeing.

The flights form part of Project Sunrise – Qantas’ goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from Australia’s east coast of to London and New York.

The three research flights will be operated by brand new 787-9s on re-routed delivery flights from Boeing. Rather than flying empty from Seattle, the aircraft will simulate two Project Sunrise routes – London and New York to Sydney.

This will represent the first ever flight by a commercial airline direct from New York to Sydney, and only the second time a commercial airline has flown direct from London to Sydney.

Each flight will have a maximum of 40 people, including crew, in order to minimise weight and ensure the necessary fuel range.

The passengers – mostly Qantas employees – will be fitted with wearable technology and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the roughly 19 hour flights. Scientists and medical experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and inflight entertainment to assess impact on health, wellbeing and body clock.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said “flying from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right.

“No airline has done this kind of dedicated research before and we’ll be using the results to help shape the cabin design, inflight service and crew roster patterns for Project Sunrise. We’ll also be looking at how we can use it to improve our existing long-haul flights,” he added.

An Airbus A350 in Qantas livery.

Airbus and Boeing have both pitched aircraft (A350 and 777X) to Qantas that are capable of operating Project Sunrise flights with a viable commercial payload. A final decision on Project Sunrise – which depends on aircraft economics, regulatory approvals and industrial agreements – is expected by the end of December 2019.

Watch this space.

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GET TO KNOW: Equinox Hotel New York City

The first hotel from the luxury fitness brand, Equinox, has opened in New York City—a hotel that The Wall Street Journal has called “the fittest hotel on Earth.”

Located on the west side of Manhattan, Equinox Hotel New York City sits in the heart of Hudson Yards — New York’s newest neighbourhood.

Just outside is the celebrated High Line and more than 100 shopping and dining experiences.

The new hotel spans floors 24 to 38 of a 92-story building, with rooms revealing stunning views of the city and Hudson River, while also offering soundproofing, blackout blinds, and a tech-controlled climate experience.

The hotel’s 212 rooms and suites are described simply as “Dark. Quiet. Cool.” Uniquely, Equinox offers the services of certified sleep coaches.

“Equinox New York looks sublime”, said The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“The Hudson Yards neighbourhood is one of the most exciting New York developments in a long time. We expect this Equinox, and the ones to follow, to change the way hotels approach and incorporate wellness into their offering”, added Hosper.

There is a 60,000-square-foot fitness club with a saltwater lap pool and two plunge pools. Guests are also invited to participate in the Vessel Run—a cardio class with Equinox instructors that involves walking and running to the top of the Vessel, the large public artwork made up of interlocking staircases at the center of Hudson Yards.

More Equinox hotels are in the pipeline, with Seattle expected to open in 2019, Houston and Los Angeles in 2021, and Chicago in 2022. Aligning with 25 years of the Equinox brand’s innovations in movement, nutrition, and regeneration, each hotel is designed with “your performance in mind.”

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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ROYAL CARIBBEAN ‘New York in Fall’ with FREE UPGRADE!

Departing 22 October 2019, our 13 night ‘Big Apple & Fall Colours’ package features return airfares and a FREE UPGRADE from Oceanview to Balcony aboard Royal Caribbean’s astonishing Anthem Of The Seas.

FROM SYDNEY, MELBOURNE & ADELAIDE

  • OCEANVIEW from $3699 per person + FREE BALCONY UPGRADE!

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

All pricing shown is on a twin share basis. Single, triple and quad pricing is available on request. Prices were correct on 08 April 2019 but are subject to availability and change at the time of booking. The free upgrade is based on Balcony category 2E for the same price as Oceanview category 2N, and is subject to availability at the time of booking. Prices include airfares and applicable taxes that are subject to change at any time. Some prices may be affected by foreign currency fluctuations. Further conditions may apply.

Spotlight On: Made Hotel, New York City

Lisa Byers, General Manager of The Travel Authority Corporate & Resource in Fremantle has just returned from The Big Apple, and had the very great pleasure of staying at MADE Hotel in New York.

MADE hotel is situated on 29th Street in the Manhattan neighbourhood of NoMad—North of Madison Square Park. NoMad is bordered by East 25th Street to the south, East 29th or East 30th Street to the north, Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) to the west, and Madison or Lexington Avenue to the east.

“This hotel is a perfect match for any New York visitor who wants a BoHo, peaceful, calm and comfortable space away from the craziness of New York”, says Lisa.

“It is an Instagrammers dream and there are lots of places to chill out in the hotel’s fabulous café ‘Paper’ which buzzes all day long”, she adds.

The hotel’s mantra is experiences are the new luxury.

Up-and-coming NoMad, once known for the cluster of wholesale stores along busy Broadway, now has a concentration of posh hotels, trendy bars, lounges and restaurants. Weeknights are lively with the after-work crowds from the nearby Flatiron District. Tourists and locals will find a calmer scene here on weekends.

Lisa put the hotel through its paces and recommends it and some of its culinary wonders highly.

“A fabulous breakfast is served daily in the hotel’s Lobby Bar. The amazing Cru de Mon is to die for. Thankfully, I only discovered it right at the end of the trip as it could fast become a new addiction”, quips Lisa.

We suspect this won’t be the last time Lisa stays at MADE new York.

Lisa stayed in a MADE Hotel Empire Suite like this.

If you would like more information about MADE New York or would like to book, simply leave us a note in the form below or contact Lisa directly in WA on 08 9430 0801.

Just Back From: New York

Lisa Byers, General Manager of The Travel Authority Corporate & Resource in Fremantle, has just returned from The Big Apple, experiencing the world’s longest flight—Singapore to Newark—along the way.

“It was a remarkably painless journey considering its 18-hour duration”, reports Lisa.

Departing Perth aboard Singapore Airlines flight SQ214 (operated by a Boeing 777), Lisa transited through Singapore Changi Airport before boarding flight SQ22 to Newark.

SQ22 is operated by one of the airline’s new Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

“The A350 is a fabulous aircraft”, says Lisa.

Interestingly, as this aircraft operates on ultra-long routes, it boasts an all-premium layout, configured with 67 Business Class and 94 Premium Economy seats.

Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy seat.

The 28 inch wide Business Class seats transform into a comfortable 78 inch long bed. That’s nearly two metres long, or six-foot-five in the old money.

“Departing Singapore a little before 1.00am, I slept a solid eight hours in SQ’s super-comfortable business class bed. Waking up, I had some refreshments, watched a movie, and we were just three hours from Newark. It was surreal—the world’s longest flight was over in no time”, adds Lisa.

We’re pleased to report that the Singapore Airlines crew delivered the warm welcome and level of service they’re famous for. Likewise, Lisa couldn’t fault the in-flight amenities, service, complimentary WiFi, the Business Class seat and fully flat bed.

 

“SQ came with the usual amazing service, product and friendly staff. Upon arrival into Newark Airport at 5.00am we breezed through customs in 10 minutes, tops—probably the easiest and most streamlined trip I’ve had in some time”, says Lisa.

And what about New York itself?

“New York at Christmas time and for New Year is not for the faint-hearted. We made our way there for a family holiday and it is the busiest week on the calendar for tourists, so you have to be prepared. Prepared to queue and wait everywhere you go as there are literally thousands of people at every intersection. But it is still the most amazing city to visit, and seems so much closer now with only one-stop from Perth”, says Lisa.

Her Top Tip?

Book your tickets to everything you want to see and do in New York before you leave home!

Sounds like good advice to us, and certainly something we can help you with next time the Big Apple calls.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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